15 Delicious Ways to Utilize Nutella

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iStock

In 1964, the Beatles kicked off the British Invasion by making their first American performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, Roald Dahl published "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," and a tiny jar of hazelnut-flavored chocolate spread changed the dessert world forever.

Nutella, a sweetened hazelnut cocoa spread from Ferrero, debuted on April 20, 1964. Since then, it's evolved into a global phenomenon with a passionate fan base (as recently illustrated by the "Nutella riots" in France). The brand even has its very own holiday—World Nutella Day is celebrated February 5.

While many opt for the spoon-to-mouth Nutella experience (it's the most efficient method, after all), fans have uncovered dozens of unique ways to use the spread in the kitchen and beyond. In celebration of World Nutella Day, here are 15 of our favorites.

1. NUTELLA PIZZA

A Nutella pizza.
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It's not delivery, it's your new favorite dessert pizza. To make, just spread Nutella on top of baked pizza dough and add any toppings of your choice—strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, nuts, various drizzles. Bake for 5-10 minutes and top with powdered sugar.

2. NUTELLA COFFEE SWEETENER

Nutetlla toast with a cup of coffee.
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If the idea of caffeinated Nutella helps get you out of bed in the morning, this homemade creamer is easy to whip up in advance. Or, simply replace your regular sugar or sweetener with a small teaspoon of Nutella to stir into a fresh cup of coffee.

3. NUTELLA-COVERED BACON

Nutella-covered bacon.
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You've heard of chocolate-covered bacon, but adding the nutty kick of Nutella takes this treat up a notch. This salty-yet-sweet concoction is great for breakfast. Or dessert. Or appetizers.

4. NUTELLA ART

Nutella art on a plate.
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Can you find Nutella in the arts and crafts aisle? Not yet, but a quick look through the #NutellaArt hashtag on Instagram has us thinking someday that'll change. Fans are creating beautiful works of Nutella art—from the Mona Lisa to Pikachu—and we can't decide what's more impressive: the intricacy of the artwork or the self-control to leave Nutella on the plate.

5. NUTELLA SOAP

Wooden spoon full of Nutella.
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Nothing screams "clean" like soap made out of a sugary hazelnut spread, right? Apparently true fans don't care, and they've come up with their own recipes for "Nutella soap." But, spoiler alert—it's really just soap in a Nutella jar. Either way, we'll take it!

6. NUTELLA QUESADILLAS

Nutella and banana quesadillas.
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Since stuffed crepes are difficult to make at home, Nutella quesadillas are the next best thing. With a little Nutella, a tortilla, and your favorite toppings (sprinkles, bananas, whipped cream, the works) you can make a less authentic but just as delicious portable dessert.

7. NUTELLA S'MORES

Pile of s'mores.
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Step up your s'mores game with an alternative to chocolate bars—Nutella! The recipe is about as simple as you can get—spread Nutella on a graham cracker, toast a marshmallow, combine—but the unexpected flavor will win over any campfire crew.

8. NUTELLA HOT CHOCOLATE

Mug of hot chocolate.
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Give your hot chocolate a hazelnut makeover by swapping out those old powder packs. Instead, warm 3 tablespoons of Nutella and 1 1/3 cup of milk in a saucepan (or in the microwave). And if you want to spike it? A shot of peppermint schnapps or Bailey's will spice it right up.

9. NUTELLA CANDLES

While we don't condone setting your Nutella on fire, many fans have crafted ways to clean out the jars and make their own DIY, Nutella-branded candles. Don't trust yourself with DIY? You can buy ready-made Nutella candles on Etsy.

10. NUTELLA SNOW GLOBES

A snowglobe.
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If you want to show your brand loyalty while decorating for some seasonal cheer, Nutella snow globes allow you to create any wintry, glittery, chocolatey scene you'd like. This DIY guide can walk you through it.

11. NUTELLA JAR ICE CREAM DISH

Bowl of ice cream with hazelnuts.
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It can be so hard to get those last bits of Nutella out of the jar. But once you're down to the last serving, scoop some ice cream directly into the jar. The "topping" may be on the bottom of the jar, but by the time you've finished your dessert, the last remnants of Nutella will be cleared out.

12. NUTELLA RAVIOLI

Nutella ravioli.
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Your Italian nonna may cringe, but Nutella fans have gotten uber creative, whipping up their own "Nutella Ravioli." You can either stuff wonton wrappers with the hazelnut spread and top them with mint leaves and powdered sugar, or use crescent roll dough for the pastry pockets.

13. NUTELLA MARTINI

Nutella martini.
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A basic chocolate martini will no longer do once you've tried adding Nutella. This recipe calls for double the chocolate and hazelnut flavors, courtesy of Frangelico and Godiva Chocolate Liqueur in addition to a tablespoon of Nutella.

14. BOOZY NUTELLA MILKSHAKES

Nutella milkshake.
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Few things beat a boozy milkshake, especially when Nutella is the core ingredient. This Nutella milkshake recipe calls for vodka, milk, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and a healthy scoop of Nutella.

15. NUTELLA PIGGY BANK

Need a cute place to store your laundry quarters or stash those pennies that you never spend? Wash out an empty Nutella jar, use an X-Acto knife to slice a small rectangular slot in the lid, and enjoy saving up for another jar of your favorite hazelnut spread.

10 Surprising Uses for Leftover Bananas

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iStock

Bananas are practically the perfect fruit. They’re high in potassium and vitamins. They don’t need to be washed or sliced. They make a great healthy snack, but you can also put them in bread, ice cream, pie, and pancakes. What’s not to love?

Well, there’s one tiny problem—they go bad quickly. Bananas produce a large amount of a gas called ethylene, which causes fruit to ripen faster, meaning that there's a small window to enjoy them. Just because a bunch of bananas is past its prime doesn’t mean they can’t be used, though. Here are a few of the things you can do with ripe bananas.

1. TREAT BUG BITES.

Pressing the inside of a banana peel onto a bite from a mosquito or other insect for a few minutes is a surprisingly simple way to quell itching. In fact, some studies have shown that banana peels can help reduce irritation and inflammation [PDF, PDF]. The use of banana peels to treat inflammation is said to be an ancient Chinese remedy, but people around the world swear (with varying degrees of evidence) by the fruit’s ability to soothe poison ivy rashes, psoriasis, sunburn, and other skin maladies.

2. REMOVE A SPLINTER.

If tweezers aren’t getting that pesky splinter out, try a banana peel instead. Tape a piece of the peel onto the affected area (with the soft, inner side of the peel facing down) and leave it in place for about 10 minutes. The enzymes in the fruit should help to force the splinter out.

3. ATTRACT BUTTERFLIES AND HUMMINGBIRDS.

Once a common sight in the U.S., monarch butterflies are now difficult to spot. Their population has dwindled due to loss of habitat, but you can improve your chances of seeing them by placing an overripe banana out in your garden. They’re just soft and sweet enough for butterflies to enjoy (make sure to remove the bananas before you go to bed, though, or else you'll have animals like raccoons in your garden). You can also place bananas near a hummingbird feeder to attract fruit flies, which the birds feast on.

4. FERTILIZE PLANTS.

While you’re out in the garden feeding the birds and butterflies, give your plants some love, too. When cut-up banana peels are buried, they enrich the soil with nutrients and help nourish plants. You can also wrap a banana peel around a tomato plant to create a natural fertilizer.

5. POLISH LEATHER AND SILVER.

If you’re in need of a quick shoe shine, reach for the fruit bowl. The potassium in bananas make them a great, quick tool for polishing your leather. Simply buff the leather with the inside of a banana peel, and use a cloth to wipe it clean. The same technique can also be used to polish silver (though some recommend blending the banana peels into a paste and putting that on a cloth for polishing).

6. MAKE SMOOTHIES, SANS ICE.

Bananas have long been a staple in smoothies, but what if you have a whole bunch that’s about to go bad? Instead of throwing them out, stick them in the freezer. You can pull one out any time you get a smoothie craving, and since it’s frozen, you won’t even need to add ice.

7. MAKE NATURAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS.

Beauty products don’t have to be expensive. Bananas are a great ingredient in DIY hair treatments and skin exfoliants. The amino and citric acids help protect hair from damage and keep it shiny. There are a few different recipes you can try, some of which combine banana with avocado, yogurt, egg, and other ingredients. Rubbing the inside of a banana peel onto your face (seriously, try it) is also said to brighten your skin, fight acne, and reduce puffiness around your eyes.

8. PREVENT INFLAMED MUSCLES.

A recent study published in the journal PLOS One found that competitive cyclists who had consumed a banana instead of a sugary drink or water had less inflammation following their workout. Although other physicians cite the benefits of consuming bananas post-workout, the sample for this particular study was small—only 20 cyclists—and was funded by Dole Foods (although they had no role in any part of the study), so you might not want to swap out ibuprofen for bananas just yet—especially since the lead author told The New York Times that the banana led to “quite a bit of bloating,” so maybe best to not experiment on race day.

9. REPAIR A SCRATCHED DVD.

CDs and DVDs may be a dying technology, but many people still have a few lying around at home. If you have any discs that are scratched, you can try using toothpaste and banana to salvage them. First, rub toothpaste into the scratches with a cloth. Wipe it off, then rub a piece of banana onto the disc in a circular motion. Do the same thing with the banana peel and clean the disc with window cleaner. Whether or not this trick works will depend on how badly the disc is scratched, but it’s worth a shot!

10. TRY OUT SOME NEW RECIPES.

If a bunch of bananas is too ripe for your liking, try repurposing the fruit. There are hundreds of recipes that call for overripe bananas. The Food Network's Canadian site lists 83 recipes on its website, including chocolate chip banana pancakes, a peanut butter and banana oatmeal smoothie, and slow cooker banana upside down cake.

Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone Uses a $5 Tool to Clean His Grill

Tommaso Boddi, Getty Images for Rioja Wines
Tommaso Boddi, Getty Images for Rioja Wines

Every grill master knows that cleaning the grates of a barbecue is an essential step in the cooking process. If you forget to scrub off that caked-on char from your last cookout, any food you slap onto the grill will stick and fall apart when you try to flip it. Plus, all that dirt and grime will be an unwelcome addition to your meal. An easy way to avoid this is to give your grill a proper cleaning before you fire it up. And if you don't have a grill brush in your arsenal, a $5 tool you may already have at home will do just fine.

According to Eater, a regular paint scraper is the preferred grill-cleaning gadget of Curtis Stone. The Australian chef and TV personality is the owner of the restaurant Gwen in Los Angeles, which specializes in prime cuts of meat cooked over an open flame. He could use a professional grill brush if he ever chose to, but he tells Eater that a paint scraper is what he wields at home and in his restaurant.

Most commercial grill brushes come with wire bristles, but according to Stone, the scraping part attached to the top is the only feature that's useful. Not only is a paint scraper simpler, it's also compact enough to fit in a back pocket—a major plus for grillers who are prone to misplacing their cooking implements.

A basic grill brush can cost between $10 and $20, with the fancier versions selling for over $100. A metal paint scraper can be purchased from Amazon for $5.

[h/t Eater]

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